We “sat down” with Marian Schembari – intrepid gal that she is, living in New Zealand, and working on online marketing strategies for authors (and others).
Our question: From your perch – marketing and social media “thug” for authors – what are the things that authors have to do differently with their marketing strategy?
The thing authors need to do differently? Actually use social media. You think the Twitterverse/blogosphere/whatever is overrun with authors and publishing hopefuls, but it’s really not. Most folks in publishing avoid the social web like the plague. The thing that will set you apart is to actually use and embrace it. Have a good attitude.
One of the biggest mistakes I see authors make is having a crappy attitude towards social media and this really comes through in their profiles, making readers not want to buy their books. So many authors think it’s “not their job” to take care of the marketing of their book, but guess what? Your publisher is busy with all their other authors and besides the bare bones of marketing/publishing, they’re not going to do shit for you.
If you want to make sure you actually sell your book, take some of the easy marketing into your own hands. Get on Twitter. It’ll help you find that community of readers who’s going to fall in love with your book. Create a Facebook fan page and spread the word. But don’t sit at your desk whining that it’s not your responsibility. The incredible power of social media is that you don’t need to be a marketing expert, you just need to have a passion for your book, be willing to learn the basics and have fun with it!
The second mistake I see too often is blatant self-promotion. While people will start following you on Twitter or become your fan on Facebook because they want to hear more about you, they don’t want to hear you constantly egging them on to buy your stuff.
Don’t know what to share with your fans/followers/readers? They want to hear where your next reading will be or get a link to your latest review, but they’d also much rather know about YOUR favorite authors, top writing tips, bonus info from your book. And, of course, you need to give love to get love. So retweet and engage others in conversation to get the most out of your online presence.